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Invest in Your Business by Investing in Your People

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Sarah LauresBy Sara Laures, Chief People Officer, VGM

Without doubt, your company’s most valuable asset is your employees. Products, services, trademarks, and even your brand and reputation depend on your people. That’s why no business growth strategy is complete without considering the people your company depends on. But where do you start? 

At VGM, we decided to take a targeted approach to investing in our people, building a program that we could use as a reference for our future efforts. And because they represent two-thirds of our workforce, it made sense for us to invest in our women leaders.

Investing in Women Leaders

VGM launched its Women in Leadership (WIL) program in 2016 as strategic initiative to support, motivate, and empower aspiring women leaders across our company. Since its inception, we have invested in over 100 women leaders by way of educational and networking opportunities. Among the WIL alumni, only 10 have left VGM. Retention, anyone? 

Investing in Leaders

Your investment in women leaders has never bee nmore important. The pandemic has taken a toll on all employees, but the data shows that females have been particularly hit. Recent studies by Deloitte and Women Lead Change surveyed thousands of women professionals across the world. Their findings are significant:

  • More than half of women are more stressed than a year ago, and 46% feel burned out.
  • Women in middle-management roles and younger adult women (25 years old and younger) are experiencing the highest burnout levels.
  • Women are unable to “switch off” from work, and many are concerned about their career advancement.
  • Work-family conflict continues to be a main concern for women.
  • Remote work is beneficial, but it can also create feelings of isolation, blurred boundaries, and coordination problems.
  • Flexibility and workplace support are factors that can increase employee retention and alleviate employee stress.
  • Female participation in the labor force has decreased.

Building a Network

Equity in the Workplace

Building a women’s networking group can be a meaningful step toward gender equity in the workplace—and, more importantly, it’s good for business.

A Foundation for Growth

Our VGM WIL program has evolved through the years. Today, the program is led by a leadership committee, we have a formalized nomination process, and we sponsor meaningful curriculum for both existing participants and alumni. We’ve since used this structure to create other professional cohorts who can connect and grow together.

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VGM Playbook Business Planning and LeadershipThis article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Business Planning and Leadership. To read the full article and more like this, download your copy of the Playbook under Resources in the member's only portal. 

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